Banks and insurance experts are reporting that, with 2 ½ months to go, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is already one of the most expensive to date for the insurance industry.
. About the time that Hurricane Irma was making landfall in Florida, the chief executive of Lloyd’s of London, Inga Beale, told the Times of London that the recent spate of storms would allow insurers to raise premiums. “Almost in a perverse way,” Beale said, the hurricanes would “benefit the sector.”
Perverse indeed. Insurance companies have figured out how to make a handsome profit from large-scale disasters. Raising premiums isn’t the only way they do it. They also shed unprofitable neighborhoods and policyholders, leaving public treasuries to fill the void.
In the wake of Harvey and Irma, insurance providers, including the government-administered National Flood Insurance Program, are sure to spend vast sums to help restock coastlines with mansions, yacht-filled harbors.